The International Writers Magazine: Fashion
once, fashion isnt favouring the stick thin. Instantly recognisable
photographs of elongated, skeletal models such as Gisele Bundchen
and Erin Wassen have been filed. Jennifer Lopez has insured her
coveted, voluptuous backside for one billion dollars. The bottom
is at the forefront of fashion.
The days of the
waif-like model are marked. Formidable, bootylicious buttocks are the
new objects of desire. Astonishingly, the media (as a whole) isnt
currently being accused of bombarding young girls with unrealistic images
of unashamedly gaunt models heroin chic is dead. Instead, we
are flooded with photographs of Kylies Rear of the Year
and J.Los perfect peach of an ass. Its about time we celebrated
the natural figure of a woman, weve got bums and Lil Kim
couldnt have picked a better time to release Shake Ya Bum Bum.
There is no doubt that big bums are big news at the moment and with
the amount of celebrity endorsement they are receiving we are showing
no signs of returning to the days of "does my bum look big in this?"
In an interview with The Observer James Brown, launch editor of Loaded
said, "Jennifer Lopezs backside is an American landmark.
And who are we to argue? But let it be said that the fetishism of the
backside did not start with the endorsement of the beautiful Miss Lopez;
it started inadvertently on the catwalk.
Back in 1997 Alexander McQueen send models down the catwalk wearing
jeans so low that they displayed several inches of bum crack. Although
these models were, obviously, stick-thin (and didnt actually look
unlike a posse of pre-pubescent skateboarders with seriously baggy trousers
and ridiculously low Calvins, I would love to say that they were
builder-esque but they werent) something happened to the fashion
industry that day the hipster jean was born. The thong, previously
loved for banishing the demon that was VPL became the showiest item
around. Butterfly embossed and diamenté encrusted thongs and
g-strings drew attention to the new lowness of jeans and drew the eyes
to the new erogenous zone. Even this wasnt enough though; lower
back tattoos gave the daring and dedicated the edge on the look
at my ass attention grabbing techniques.
Sisqos Thong Song was an apt anthem for the summer of 1999, when
you couldnt help but become acquainted with the rear of every
woman you encountered. That was the liberating summer of the thong bikini
where those with backsides Worthing of airing managed to get some sun
on their cheeks. Our bums have come along way since 99 and rapper
Sir Mix-A-Lot has taken the ass fixation to new, slightly worrying levels.
Released just in time for summer his song Baby Got Back features startlingly
I like big butts and I can not lie
You others brothers cant deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waste
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull up tough
Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans shes wearing
Im hooked and I cant stop staring
His accompanying video makes just how ass obsessed we have become even
more apparent. He raps from a landscape of big, brazen, beautiful, bouncy
bums and even delivers the most poignant lyrics standing in a bum crack.
Its not just Sir Mix-A-Lot who is totally booty obsessed either, a whole
host of prominent hip-hop stars are rapping about perfect posteriors
and even those who are not still give centre to their dancers perfect
posteriors. The bum is now imbedded in an array of elements of contemporary
culture the new erogenous zone looks set to stay.
when it comes to rounded rumps biggest isnt necessarily best.
There is no disputing that to be in the running for rear of the
year you have to be a healthy size (this is one fashion that the
catwalk clique cannot lead) as the bare fact is, the bum is fat
but, alas, it needs to be perk and the more gravity defying
the better. Obviously this is problematic for the vast majority
of British women, who long for the perfect, fuller, rounder, higher
butt. This isnt the first time women have craved a fuller
behind the Victorians wore bustles to create the impression
of some booty where there previously was none. The fashion wheel
has turned a full circle but now were prepared to go to much
more extreme lengths to get our asses into shape.
The plastic surgery
industry is thriving from our new backside fetishism. Rear implants
are it in the chop and change world of cosmetic surgery and they look
good too. Fat is taken from a donor area of the body and
then placed into the bottom, lifting the shape and increasing the size.
Its rumoured that Kylie is a fan of this procedure and its
proving to be very popular with the posteriorly challenged. Other less
extreme, not to mention less expensive, options include Wonderbras
Bottom Cleavage knickers, which give a lift from the seat of knickers
to create the illusion of a fuller behind and ample ass cleave
who needs boobs? Perhaps, until now, one of the best-kept secrets in
a gay mans wardrobe was padded pants. Working on the sample principle
as the bustle this is simply the equivalent to a padded bra, definitely
not the sexiest or most comfortable lingerie to wear on a hot summers
For most some sensible toning and a lot of squats will leave our asses
semi-peach like and good enough to give the MTV girls a run for their
money (okay maybe not, call us optimists). Others will use the bum fetish
as a totally negative platform from which to spiral into new depths
of poor body image. Take it from fetishes come and go and, sadly, one
day the pictures of Gisele and Erin will be dusted off, heroin chick
will be reborn and well all fetishise a new body part or by then
total nudity maybe the only option. To think a few hundred years ago
British men blushed at the flash of an ankle and the thong was on par
with the peephole bra!
© Rachael DCruze June 17th 2004
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